Total lymphocyte count and hemoglobin concentration lowers at onset of the disease
People with HIV and their physicians could have a less expensive tool to track the progression from HIV infection to AIDS. According to researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, a decline in the total lymphocyte counts (TLC) and hemoglobin (Hgb) concentration in the blood may be used to monitor a patients disease status. Currently, HIV RNA and CD4+ cells in the blood are measured. However, specialized equipment and training for lab technicians makes these measurements expensive. TLC and Hgb measurements are much less expensive and can be obtained by using standard blood tests. "Rapid declines in total lymphocyte counts and hemoglobin concentration prior to AIDS among HIV-1-infected men," appears in the September 2003 issue of the journal AIDS, the official journal of the International AIDS Society.
The studys lead author, Bryan Lau, a graduate student in the Schools Department of Epidemiology, said, "This study demonstrates that there is a biological event that occurs during the progression of HIV infection leading to declines in TLC and Hgb within individuals. The majority of HIV individuals who develop AIDS experience a rapid decline in total lymphocyte counts and hemoglobin concentration that starts about one and one-half years prior to developing AIDS. The decline in these two markers in individuals who develop AIDS shows that this is an important event in the pathogenesis of the disease."
Kenna Brigham | EurekAlert!
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